UE battles UST, eyes Final 4 playoff with NUBy Jasmine W. Payo | Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:18 am | Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
MANILA, Philippines — Hoping to sustain its remarkable surge, University of the East shoots for a semifinal playoff spot against University of Santo Tomas Tuesday on the final day of eliminations in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Red Warriors, buoyed by a string of upset wins over league powerhouses, collide with the Tigers at 2 p.m. hoping to tie idle National University at No. 4 with a ninth victory and forge a playoff for the last Final Four berth.
“We have to show again that survival instinct,” said UE coach Derrick Pumaren.
Cellar-dwellers University of the Philippines (1-12) and Adamson (0-13) wrap up their campaigns in the second game at 4 p.m.
Ateneo topped the eliminations with an 11-3 record to nail the first twice-to-beat semifinal advantage.
Defending champion La Salle and Far Eastern University, although already assured of semifinal berths, will dispute the No. 2 spot, which comes with the other semifinal incentive, in a playoff duel this weekend.
Tied at 10-3, the Archers and the Tamaraws will again square off in the Final Four, making their playoff match the start of a virtual best-of-three series.
NU holds solo fourth at 9-5 and may complete the Final Four cast if the already-eliminated UST plays spoiler against UE.
But Pumaren thinks his Warriors have a shot at staying alive with Bong Galanza, Dan Alberto and Paul Varilla raising their games to backstop Roi Sumang and Charles Mammie.
“We need everybody on board and on the same page,” Pumaren said of his Warriors, who looked out of it two weeks ago, but incredibly revived their campaign by shocking La Salle (68-66), FEU (94-71) and NU (64-55).
“Everybody should again be in one direction. Hopefully, we can continue to do that,” added Pumaren.
The Tigers, runner-up in the last two seasons, are out to salvage some pride after crashing out of the Final Four with a 5-8 card.
The Falcons, meanwhile, go for their first triumph to avoid duplicating their winless campaigns in 2000 and 2001.
Which side of his mouth did Floyd Jr. speak out?By Recah Trinidad | Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:06 am | Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
Listen again, please: “If the Pacquiao fight materializes, let’s make it happen.”
That was the supremely evasive Floyd Mayweather Jr. making a startling declaration on the century’s most elusive boxing bout.
Yes, Mayweather really said that after the final bell of his ho-hum second meeting with wild Marcos Maidana of Argentina.
It was totally unexpected, and all of us have every reason to be very excited.
* * *
But hold it for another moment.
Did they, for example, watch from which side of his mouth the intractable Mr. Mayweather spoke?
It was no slip of the tongue, indeed.
However, the wily Floyd Jr. would not be caught saying that line again.
* * *
Down at the press conference proper, moments after that unexpected burst on top of the ring, Mayweather made a more emphatic statement.
“We don’t know what the future holds,” Mayweather declared as he showed up in a hooded gym jacket, again playing possum, refusing to be pinned down on something he actually didn’t mean to say.
Yes, it will happen—if it materializes.
But how do you expect the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight to happen when, in a snap, the unbeaten world welterweight champion again didn’t want to have anything to do with it?
* * *
You can’t call that a complete turnaround.
At the same time though, we’re all caught in the same corner, wondering what Mayweather honestly wanted.
He said he didn’t know who he’ll be fighting after he’s done resting for the rest of the year.
He said they’re not sure what the game plan is.
“What’s realistic is I’m 47-0,” Mayweather declared.
* * *
At least, Pacquiao, all used to this empty talk, has remained unfazed.
The least said about Mayweather’s very rich blabber, the better.
Pacquiao has a more pressing concern.
How to make his WBO welterweight crown defense against tall, unbeaten American Chris Algieri exciting—and for it not to sink into a sickening mismatch as honestly feared.
Philippines wins Fiba’s Best Country fans awardBy Musong R. Castillo | Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:05 am | Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
Because of its animated fans that energized Gilas Pilipinas, the Philippines won the Most Valuable Fans (MVF) Best Country award handed out by Fiba during the World Cup Finals won by the United States Monday in Madrid.
Filipinos coming from all over Spain and those who paid hard-earned money to make the trip from the Philippines flocked to the Centro Deportes San Pablo in Seville to cheer for Gilas, which won its first World Cup game in 40 years on the final day of Group B action against Senegal.
There were about 1,000 flag-waving, feet-stomping Filipinos in each of Gilas’ five games and no nation during Group B play was able to outcheer them.
Fiba played a video of Gilas fans during the awards rites in Madrid as the Philippines officially became the darling of the tournament despite finishing tied for last in its group.
Gilas also made fans out of a huge number of foreigners during the conclave as noted mediamen published columns praising the Filipinos’ tenacity.
The Philippines took World Cup regulars Croatia, Argentina and Puerto Rico to the limit with only Greece winning convincingly. The Filipinos nipped Senegal, 81-79, for a 1-4 card.
Officially, the Philippines finished 21st out of 24 countries, outranking South Korea and Finland, which both wound up winless. Iran was the only Asian country that finished higher than the Filipinos, at 20th.
Andray Blatche, the former Brooklyn Net in the NBA, also led everyone in the efficiency department with an average of 22.4 per game. The 6-foot-11 naturalized Filipino’s 13.8 rebounds per contest also led the tournament, with another Asian, Hamed Haddadi of Iran, finishing second with 11.4.
JJ Barea, who burned the Philippines with 30 points in a 77-73 win, led everyone in scoring with 22 a game. Bojan Bogdanovic of Croatia and Blatche tied for second with 21.2.
Pacquiao starts light training for Algieri fightBy Roy Luarca | Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:03 am | Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
When Manny Pacquiao reported back to the gym Monday, Filipino coach Buboy Fernandez was pleasantly surprised by the eight-division world champion’s demeanor.
“He projected a positive aura,” Fernandez told the Inquirer in Filipino. “He was always smiling.”
It was Pacquiao’s first light workout in preparation for his defense of the World Boxing Organization welterweight crown against unbeaten American Chris Algieri on Nov. 23 in Macau.
Fernandez is taking charge of Pacquiao’s training until chief trainer Freddie Roach’s arrival on Oct. 6.
Pacquiao breezed through the four-round mitts session, shadow-boxed for three rounds, pummeled the speedball and did sit-ups at his Wild Card Gym in Gen. Santos City.
“I didn’t make him skip ropes,” said Fernandez, who arrived in the city on Oct. 3 to oversee the gym setup and synchronize Pacquiao’s hectic schedule.
Having analyzed tapes of Algieri’s previous bouts, including his split decision win for the WBO light welterweight crown over Ruslan Provodnikov last June 14, Fernandez said he is inclined to use Pacquiao’s domination of Antonio Margarito as a blueprint for training.
“Algieri is nearly as tall and as long as Margarito,” said Fernandez. “Their only difference is that Margarito counters when cornered in the ropes and Algieri doesn’t.”
Fernandez said they can’t afford to take Algieri, who will fight at 144 pounds for the first time, lightly.
He said the American of Italian-Argentinian descent, has a strong uppercut and left hook.
FEU Tamaraws protest loss to Ateneo Blue EaglesBy Jasmine W. Payo | Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:01 am | Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
MANILA, Philippines — Far Eastern University has placed under protest its overtime loss to Ateneo Saturday, citing the “misapplication” of rules on video replay in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.Ateneo claimed the No. 1 spot after edging FEU in overtime, 68-64, after the Tamaraws blew a 19-point advantage in the last six minutes of regulation.
FEU coach Nash Racela, in a letter sent to tournament commissioner Andy Jao Monday, questioned the timing in correcting Von Pessumal’s shot, which was first deemed as a two-pointer at the 3:20mark and later changed into a three-pointer with 27 seconds left in regulation.
“Reviewing a play that happened three minutes before is not allowed as per UAAP rules… [and the review] should have been done in the first dead-ball opportunity,” said Racela.
“We are protesting the misapplication of the UAAP rules on video replay (which is clearly a technicality) and not in any way a judgment matter on the part of the officials,” added Racela.
“This grave error determined the outcome of the game.”Regulation ended at 59-all.Jao said he’ll “study the protest carefully” and may issue a decision Tuesday.